The last thing any motorist wants is to be in a car accident. The resulting physical pain and property damage means you’re going to have to deal with auto insurance carriers. Your own, as well as the company of the other person involved. In Texas, all drivers are required to carry liability insurance to pay for car repairs and medical expenses when found to be at fault.
Your liability insurance will not cover injuries you’ve sustained, though. To pay for medical expenses, you have options: if the other person is at fault, their liability insurance should cover you. Or, you may be able to use your health insurance to cover the cost of your injuries.
Always Seek Medical Attention Immediately After an Accident
Typically, health insurance covers medical treatment for injuries regardless of whether or not they were caused by an auto accident. Always seek medical attention right away after a car collision, even if you feel fine.
The negative physical effects of a crash aren’t always immediately apparent, and a hospital has the tools to detect injuries you may not feel due to adrenaline or shock.
An insurance adjuster may suggest you wait for their referral to see a doctor, but this could potentially damage your claim. The more time has passed between the time of your accident and the time of medical care, the easier it will be for the auto insurance company to deny your pain and suffering was directly caused by the accident.
Health insurance carriers can recoup the cost of your medical expenses through a process called subrogation. If your provider successfully recovers these expenses, they will have to divide the amount received proportionally. In this way, any funds you paid towards a deductible are returned.
Know What Your Insurance Plan Covers
To best know which form of insurance will cover what, carefully review both your auto and your health insurance policies. Some health insurance carriers classify auto accident injuries as secondary coverage. These policies won’t cover your medical expenses until the auto insurance limit has been met.
In Texas, if you are found to be at fault in an auto accident, it is your responsibility to pay for property and bodily damage to the other party.
Texas current minimum liability insurance is known as 30/60/25 coverage. This limits payments to $30,000 for each injured person, totaling $60,000 per accident (if two or more people are injured) and $25,000 to cover property damage to the other party. While this may seem like a good amount of money, it may not be nearly enough depending on the severity of your injuries.
Say you suffer the misfortune of a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury; $30,000 won’t cover the cost of rehabilitation for one month, let alone a lifetime. It’s a smart idea to include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or medical payments coverage to your policy. This way, medical costs are covered no matter who’s ultimately at fault.
Your Next Steps
When it comes to ensuring your ability to physically and financially recover after an auto accident, the best advice is: be prepared. Consider what you stand to lose if you are gravely injured in an auto accident or if you should injure someone else. Saving a few bucks on your monthly insurance rate might not save you anything at all when you weigh it against the worst-case scenario. Research the kind of coverage that will properly protect you.
Remember insurance agencies often care more about their profits than your recovery. Sometimes the only way to get through their red tape is by having an experienced attorney fight on your behalf. If you were injured in an auto accident, a personal injury attorney can make all the difference in your ability to get the compensation you deserve. We at Pierce Skrabanek PLLC are here to help.